Agriculture, Weekly Rental Rules on Ballot

BAR HARBOR — The elimination of vacation rental regulations and the introduction of agricultural tourism to local zoning are among a slate of proposed land use changes residents will weigh in on when they go to the polls on Tuesday, June 14, for the second half of the annual town meeting.

Changes to the definitions of animal kennels and campgrounds and a proposal that would allow homeowners in all districts to construct an accessory dwelling if they meet certain requirements also will go to residents.

The Agriculture Ordinance has generated the most debate. According to a summary of the proposal published by the town, the ordinance is “aimed at encouraging agriculture in our community.” Hoop houses and cold frames would be allowed in setbacks. Chickens (no roosters) would be allowed in all districts, and farmstands would be allowed in most places as accessory are allowed. The planning board supports the proposal 3-0, but the warrant committee recommends rejection by a vote of 18-0.

The Vacation Rental Ordinance would overturn almost all of the regulations on weekly rentals that were instituted in 2006. The change would allow weekly rentals in all zoning districts, regardless of whether the homeowner considers the house their primary or secondary residence. The planning board recommends adoption of the article, by a vote of 3-1. The warrant committee recommends adoption, by a vote of 13-7.

The Accessory Dwelling Ordinance would allow construction of a second dwelling on properties with enough open area, even in districts where just one dwelling per lot is allowed. The planning board recommends adoption, by a vote of 4-0, while the warrant committee recommends rejection, by a vote of 10-9.

For more political news, pick up a copy of the Mount Desert Islander.

Robert Levin

Robert Levin

Former reporter Robert Levin covered the people, businesses, governmental and nonprofit agencies of Bar Harbor. [email protected]